Shalane Flanagan, as the video from the shoe addicts notes, is ‘middle distance running royalty.” Both her parents were elite runners, her mother, a marathoner, and her father, a world class cross country runner. Flanagan showed her royalty with a superb win over 10,000 meters, running 30:59.97, with a final lap of 57.3!
Flanagan was the bronze medalist in Beijing in 2008: only the second
American women to EVER do that ( the other, yes, was Lynn Jennings back
in 1992). Flanagan is a gutty runner. Yet, it has only been in this past
year that Shalane Flanagan has truly come into her own.
November 2010, Flanagan took second in a truly tactical marathon, the
ING NYCM. A marathon known for its fast times, this years marathon was a
world champs simulation, where Flanagan showed her stuff and took the
battle to the finish line.
In March 2011, Shalane Flanagan took
the bronze medal at the World Cross Country Championships! The U.S. team
she was on took a bronze! That may be the most significant race that
Flanagan had run, well up til tonight.
On May 1, Shalane
Flanagan and Sally Kipyego battled over 25 laps at the Payton Jordan
Invitational’s Kim McDonald 10,000m, with Kipyego just getting the
victory. On June 4, Shalane Flanagan pressed hard in the 4th and 5th
kilometers, only to miss the AR for 5,000 meters by a few seconds; she
had faltered a bit over the last fifty meters, showing, that yes,
Shalane is indeed human.
Tonight, Shalane Flanagan showed her
stuff. Running from the front the entire race, Flanagan pursued her goal
of a sub 31:00 with the the focus needed to medal in Daegu, Korea.
Running a superb 57.3 last lap, Flanagan ran 30:59.97.
the battle for the second through fifth was probably more fascinating
of a story than Flanagan’s win. The truth be told, Shalane Flanagan
makes her wins look easy-and they are anything but not! This was her
fourth sub 31:00 10,000 meter run-she now ranks equal third on the list
with a few women you might know, one whose name is Paula Radcliffe.
10,000 meter race is as much a race of mental anguish as it is a
physical challenge. Running 25 laps on a 400 meter track, running as
close to one’s maximum is no easy feat. Two time Olympic medalist Frank
Shorter noted that running such a race was like cutting one self with a
very sharp knife, the cut was deep and the pain was excruciating.
was a time in the 10,000 meters, where Shalane Flanagan was just
running all out, 73-74s, with twenty-five meters back, Jenn Rhines and
Kara Goucher were battling for second place, with another fifty meters
back, Magda Lewy Boulet and Desi Davila was trying to close the gap.
was sitting about 100 meters from the finish line, as Alberto Salazar
encouraged Kara and Amy Yoder Begley. Then, the brothers Hanson were
cheerleading Desi Davila and Richie Boulet, himself a 3:52 miler (on
Hayward’s track) was encouraging his wife, Magda Lewy.
can go back to one’s modest competitive days, one will remember a point
in the 10,000 meters race-no man’s land-about 7,000 meters into the
race, where one is trying to fight the fatigue, the actual pain that
comes from fast distance running, while trying to stay on pace.
was a time, in this race, where Flanagan was flying around the track,
with Jenn Rhines and Kara Goucher within steps of each other, and Desi
Davila, slowly gaining on the pack in front of her, and Magda Lewy
Boulet, obviously trying to concentrate, but also in pain.
Begley, back from surgery, was running a gutty race, one that we have
all done. Trying to get back into racing fitness requires racing-that
simple. Begley battled herself and the track, for twenty five laps,
showing herself to be tough and resilient. Begley finished sixth in
Magda Lewy Boulet had battled with Desi Davila for
sixteen laps, when Desi began to pull away. Magda is one tough athlete.
Jack Daniels, her coach, told me at Boston this past April that Magda
was one of his toughest athletes. This tough athlete finished fifth,
running 31:48.58, her personal best.
Desi Davila, the second
place runner at Boston this past April ran very close to making the US
team. Davila ran 31:37.14, her personal best. She tried to run down Jenn
Rhines for third place, but to no avail.
Jenn Rhines, the three
time Olympian, continues to show her moxie with a gutty third place
here. Rhines, who held off Kara Goucher for sixteen or so laps, finished
third in 31:30.
Kara Goucher, less than one year from having a
baby, best day ever, as she ran 31:16.65. Goucher pressed Rhines until
lap 19, where she went by Rhines, moved into second and built a major
Shalane Flanagan showed that she is frightfully
consistent. We saw her later, after the race, at Thrill on the Grill
gathering, and Shalane said, ” I feel great, a little tired, but that is
Nothing more can be said here!
Oh, and if that is not enough, one of the true track geek of geeks, K. Ken Nakamura, notes the following on the 10,000 meter that was run tonight:
|1||Shalane Flanagan||Oregon TC Elite||30:59.97|
|2||Kara Goucher||Oregon TC Elite||31:16.65|
|4||Desiree Davila||Hansons-Brooks Distance Projec||31:37.14|
|5||Magdalena Lewy Boulet||Saucony||31:48.58|
|7||Anne Bersagel||New Balance Silicon Valley / A||32:54.08|
|8||Cassandra Slade||Boulder Running Company/adidas||32:55.98|
|10||Allison Grace Morgan||ZAP Fitness Reebok||32:57.57|
|11||Emily Brown||Team USA Minnesota / Asics||33:00.74|
|12||Danielle Stack||Iowa State University||33:04.17|
|13||Katherine Newberry||New York Athletic Club (NYAC)||33:05.31|
|14||Kathryn Matthews||Boston U||33:11.00|
|15||Addie Bracy||Carrboro Athletics Club||33:13.75|
|16||Nicole Feest||Boulder Running Company/adidas||33:15.70|
|20||Alisha Williams||Boulder Running Company/adidas||33:32.59|
|22||Jeannette Faber||Boston AA||33:52.95|
|23||Kim Ruck||Clemson University||33:54.64|
|24||Kristina Vegh||Sun Elite||34:05.64|
|25||Kara Millhouse||Penn State||34:22.20|
|DNF||Megan Hogan||Team USA Minnesota / Asics|
|DNF||Rachel Booth||New Balance Silicon Valley / A|